Monday, November 28, 2011

The Tofurkey Cometh

The 3rd Annual The Tofurkey Cometh was a wild success as usual. 
You can watch it here (or right click to download, it's a huge file)!

In attendance this year:
Devin O'Connor & Hayley Oggel

Weston Lane & Katelyn Connell
Susan & Scott Lane
Chris Ellision & Kate Stirr 
Corey O'Connor
Katie Craft

The crew enjoyed the most tasty spread of: Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Roasted Tempeh
Apricot & Cherry Crisp, 5-Grain Pilaf with Sweet Potato Topping, Baked Beans
Veggie Stuffin', Biscuits with Herb Butter, Citrus Green Salad & Rosemary Fennel Garlic Potato Mash, Cherry Naan, Pear and Fig Torte, and Burbon Cider.

Thanks for coming ya'll! Next year, IN ENGLAND!

I-Oh-Wuh (Iowa)

Home Sweet Home.
The place I grew up, went to college, and moved away from. Iowa was "home" for 18 years of my life. From May 21st, 1983 until September 11, 2001. Granted I traveled out from there quite a bit, and spent two semesters of college away (Arizona and France. France was better). Returning to Iowa feels like entering a dream. Everything is so familiar, yet much of the details I've forgotten. Have you ever seen the movie Labyrinth? It's a classic. I like to think of it as a 1986 version of Alice in Wonderland, but better. My Grandpa Dean took me to see this movie, and I'm sure he didn't know what to make of it. Alas, I digress . . .

There is a scene in the movie where Jennifer Connelly (Sarah) is lost in another world, searching heroically for her baby sister who has been stolen by an evil witch. On this epic quest she stumbles upon a massive junk-yard and in it finds "her bedroom". Upon finding her room, she begins to grab and cling to the objects and stuffed animals that hold strong sentimental value to her. Surrounded by these objects, being in her bedroom again, she almost gives up the quest for her baby sister. She almost chooses the comforts of home over the grand, adventurous unknown world that exists beyond the safe four walls of her familiar room.

Though I couldn't find a clip of this scene online, in my searching I found that this movie has a cult following. People have created hilarious video montages to modern day love songs. It's kinda great watching David Bowie and 14-year-old Jennifer Connelly act in slow-motion to the song "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias. Again with the digression . . .

It wasn't my aim to draw a parallel between the movie Labyrinth and my life when I started to write this post, in fact if that had been my intention I don't know how I would have succeeded in doing so. But it seems the parallel has been drawn and so I'm gonna run with it.

Being back in Iowa, seeing some dear, sweet friends who've accompanied me through my life since 1983 and 1997 was quite simply, wonderful. My friends have become Mothers, Wives, Home-owners. They've chosen their career-path, their life-path, their life-partner. I am so proud of them, so tickled to see them reading to their children, working on their beautiful homes, laughing with their adoring husbands. They've put down roots in Iowa, they are happy. And I am so happy for them, maybe even a bit jealous of all they have and have done.

A few months is all that stands between me and the one of the greatest journeys I've ever taken. Marriage, change of job, change of country, and so many unknowns before I can even get there. It's tempting to curl up in my home, grasp and cling to all the objects and people that make me feel safe and secure and forget about the adventure that awaits outside these four walls. In fact, some days I do exactly this and it feels good. But after a few days of wandering between the same three rooms of our house, going to the same job, eating at the same restaurants . . . I get bored. And this is how I know I'm going to choose the adventure over staying home.

I'm so glad my friends and family have put down roots in the places I've lived in and love. Because they are there, I can always go home again.

Book Club - October

Host: Yours Truly
Date: Wednesday, October 26th
Book: The Magician King, by Lev Grossman
Food Theme: I think we failed at a theme and just brought what we were able to bring

I believe Jessie finished this book (in time) and perhaps only 3 others of us had actually started reading it before book club met. Overall, (prepare yourself for another fantastic literary review) it was good. I actually never finished it because I stopped caring about the characters about halfway through. Maybe I read it too slowly or infrequently to stay attached to the story or the plot . . . every time I picked it up again I was bored with their battles to save the magical world of Fillory. Maybe Harry Potter spoiled me for other magical book series, I may have had only enough room for one magical world in my literary heart. Book Clubbers, speak up if you have something to say about this (or other) books I review! 

Host: Kim Keogh (Technically)
Food Theme: Ethiopian Restaurant!
Date: November 29, 2011 7:00pm

Denver Wedding Hunt

A few weeks ago I took a trip to Denver in an attempt to make some decisions around our wedding plans. After a few months of wedblogging I was ready to jump in with both feet and make some decisions. Devin and I have had so much going on this fall that I was feeling the need to put down some wedding-planning roots so I could move on to other important and looming events (23-page application for an English Art Therapy license, to be exact).

The four day weekend was packed with visiting venues, meeting with caterers, trying on wedding dresses (a blur of tulle and white fabric), studying ring designs (a blur of shiny objects), and fabulous family dinners, night after night. My family and future in-laws were super-wedding-troopers. They Oohed and Ahhed at all the right dresses, pointed out the lovely and not so lovely parts of the venue to consider, asked all the right questions at the caterer's and reminded me every step of the way that this wedding is about one thing, and one thing alone: Devin and I.

After taking into account our timeline for moving and all the other variables we had to consider, (finishing his PhD, working long enough at the hospital to receive my pension, shipping our belongings to England, hauling other stuff to Colorado, taking our time to camp in Utah on our road-trip, Colorado's weather in early June vs. mid-July) we decided on a date and crossed our fingers that both the caterer and the venue would be available when I went to visit them both again on Monday before flying home.

Much to my pleasure (and rapidly decreasing anxiety levels) we got the date we wanted!

July 14, 2012

Three years and one month (well, almost) from the day we met.
I am so looking forward to that day and the days leading up to and surrounding it. Thanks to my family for being such a support as we've figured this out! We couldn't have done it without you!